Cooperative learning interventions and associated outcomes in future teachers: A systematic review



Published 01-07-2023
Javier Fernandez-Rio Sergio Rivera-Pérez Damián Iglesias


The use of cooperative learning as a pedagogical framework in teacher-training colleges and universities has gained special relevance in the last decade. What do we know about the impact of cooperative learning-based interventions on future teachers so far? The purpose was to provide a contemporary picture on cooperative learning interventions in teacher education students conducting a systematic review. More specifically, this paper aimed to answer the following research questions: (1) What was the focus of studies investigating the benefits of cooperative learning in future teachers? (2) Which learning outcomes have been observed? (3) What were the main effects in student-teachers? Several electronic literature databases were involved in the process (Web of Science, EBSCO host, Scopus, ERIC, PsycINFO, SciELO). Quantitative, qualitative or mixed intervention studies were assessed. Nineteen eligible articles, involving 1944 teacher education students, were included to evaluate, organize and produce a high-level synthesis of evidence of this methodological approach. A comprehensive literature review is presented on its effects and learning outcomes. Findings showed that this teaching strategy can be useful for teacher education students’ global development: content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, personal, inter-personal and transversal skills, and professional skills and competencies. Unfortunately, these improvements are not linear and they need time and high-structured experiences. Cooperative learning has been found a positive framework in teacher education programs worldwide to train future teachers. Formative implications and future research are discussed.

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